July 31st, 2009
11:55 PM ET

Situation in Darfur still dire

[cnn-photo-caption image="http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/WORLD/africa/07/08/sudan.bashir.war.crimes/art.sudan.bashir.afp.gi.jpg" caption="The U.S. is reviewing its relations with Sudan and its president, Omar al-Bashir."]

Charley Keyes
CNN Senior Producer

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Friday that there had been no decision whether to remove Sudan from a list of terrorism-sponsoring countries.

Sudan is hoping to improve diplomatic ties with the United States. The U.S. is now reviewing how best to deal with the government of Sudan and the crisis in Darfur where an estimated 300-thousand people have been killed and more than two million forced to fell their homes.

“We have made no decision to lift the listing on the terrorist list of Sudan,” Clinton said at the State Department Friday during a picture-taking session. “As you know there is a very intensive review going on within the Administration concerning our policy toward Sudan, but no decisions have been made.”

Clinton’s comments came one day after the Obama Administration’s special envoy to Sudan made headlines saying there is no evidence to keep Sudan on the terror-sponsor list. Envoy Scott Gration told a Senate hearing the terrorism designation was hindering his work, calling it “a political decision.” He said lifting sanctions against Sudan would allow heavy equipment and other assistance to flow more easily to people desperately in need.

The State Department denies there is any split on Sudan policy inside the Administration. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley was grilled for 15 minutes at his midday briefing about whether Grafton’s comments signaled disagreement inside the U.S. government and whether the U.S. was shifting gears toward Sudan.

“Sudan is a state-sponsor of terrorism,” Crowley said. “it’s on our list. It remains on our list.”

“What's important here, in any kind of evaluation – and we're going through an evaluation right now - we take stock of what has happened, we take stock of what is happening and, most importantly, we look forward - there are a number of critical –critical issues inherent in the relationship between the United States and Sudan,” Crowley said.

The special envoy also has attracted attention Thursday by saying that the continuing violence in Darfar no longer qualifies as “genocide” a designation dating back to the Bush Administration.

State Department Spokesman Crowley said the U.S. remains deeply concerned about Darfur. “President (Obama) has said that genocide has taken place in Darfur,” Crowley said. “But as General Gration himself said yesterday, our focus is not on definitions, our focus is right now on the dire situation that we see with the people of Darfur.”

Filed under: Darfur • Hillary Clinton • Terrorism
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. Elle Rogers, Wheeling WV

    Darfur is a mess, and I fear that nothing will change until the Arab powers in that part of the world are brought to feel some pressure, some responsibility for this terrible situation. This is more than a single state-sponsored mass murder, it's a societal-based genocide. One death cheapens us all.

    August 2, 2009 at 10:57 pm |
  2. john l cookiii

    it could be a whole lot worse remember that everybody!

    August 2, 2009 at 5:12 am |
  3. john l cookiii

    just wish that the world rely on thier beliefs than goverments
    take care

    August 2, 2009 at 5:09 am |
  4. al

    this 'drug war" in the world should be called "cocaine war" that is what it is.

    August 1, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  5. Nydria Humphries

    Im really appalled-stop these atrocities here at home--it would be totally disrespectful to dismantle what little, we have positively contributed. Americans know the real definition of terrorist. Do we not. Come on Ms. Clinton, and I have one more question as I sing and quote from the late Marvin Gaye-"What's going on"- Does the President have righteous people surrounding him? Do you really want to know the answer from East of the River and the Washington overlook point of view, well ask me?


    August 1, 2009 at 3:50 pm |
  6. Nydria Humphries

    If the President says, "Genocide has taken place in Dafur." The emphasis is put on the past tense, so is genocide still going on? How can the honorable Hillary Clinton, claim that she wanted to help China, but not Africa. We owe to Africa more than we owe to China! Money is man made. We didn't tell them to produce coal and pull oil from the ground instead of "blowing up mountains" that they do not have. Is it America's fault that they have dirty water. Its not our faoult or our busines that Chinese is a communist country. If the people in China want their independence then they need to write a National petition or something. We have to many American issues, but we do need to start paying China back, before they think they own America. Our Forefathers did not fight the Revolutionary war in vain. Do the Chinese blame the result of the KYOTO protocol on America! They can only blame themselves. Americans are the trend setters, while Chinese scholars propose "to build bridges to Africa and America from China," says Eugene Tsui.

    August 1, 2009 at 10:38 am |
  7. Mahad Jama al-Xabbeb

    This is or leader in Africa, do not dear to take him from us...
    Beacuse u just proved us right in Africa.
    That u elected an African man to clean up your economy
    and to make or create good releations with rest of the world.

    July 31, 2009 at 9:53 pm |
  8. Mahad Jama al-Xabbeb

    I come from a very big family, president family, somalian family.
    President, we salute u and support U, viva. viva
    Mail us next time u are in town. WE will give u a big party or our representatives.

    July 31, 2009 at 9:23 pm |
  9. Mahad Jama al-Xabbeb

    President Bashir is one of the last people of his kinde, President Qurasan Aqino just died, almost 2 hours before.

    July 31, 2009 at 9:17 pm |
  10. Mahad Jama al-Xabbeb

    People like you live like a dream. What do U know about Africa. Nothing and nothing. People like come to our continet tell us how to
    live our lives. We was a country and a people long before.
    So, dont come and teach us about life now. Wat u country was born 1776, we was born 2500 years before that.

    July 31, 2009 at 9:11 pm |
  11. Cherisa

    The world looks to us, and this is how we respond. How disappointing, especially for the people in Sudan.

    July 31, 2009 at 8:25 pm |
  12. sowande

    How can Sudan even be thought of as being taken of terror list until there are deep and lasting changes brought about in it's society? Genocide and the humanitarian disasters that have taken place are no less terrorism than a suicide bomber walking into a cafe in Iraq. Both Sudan and the US should worry more about stopping these atrocities and a little less about some arbitrary list.

    July 31, 2009 at 7:59 pm |
  13. Annie Kate

    Is it not possible to help the people of Darfur without recognizing the government of Sudan? If it is we probably ought to do that instead of recognizing Sudan and then helping Darfur.

    July 31, 2009 at 7:25 pm |
  14. Joanne Osinkowski Ontario Canada

    The U.S and the rest of the world should impose severe sanctions on Sudan and its government. The atrocidies that are going on in that Country should be stopped. The Sudan President should be removed from his position immediately.

    July 31, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  15. Rick

    Omar a-Bashir is a mass murderer, a religious fanatic, and as bad as the people responsible for the ethnic cleansing that has been taking place throughout the world. The Chinese already own the oil rights, and thats because they are willing to turn their backs on the atrocities that are committed on a daily basis by this apology for a head of state. He should be shot. With no oil available the US has no reason to agree with this heathen bastard. If the US appeases this man then they should understand why the rest of the world will never forgive them

    July 31, 2009 at 6:12 pm |